Histologic evaluation of the long term effects of tretinoin on photodamaged skin

J Dermatol Sci. 1996 Mar;11(3):177-82. doi: 10.1016/0923-1811(95)00432-7.


Sustained improvement with prolonged topical tretinoin for photodamaged skin has been well documented for up to 22 months of continuous treatment. We now report long-term (4 years) histologic effects of topical tretinoin in photodamaged skin of 27 patients, the longest study to date. The observed decreases in dermal elastin content and perivascular inflammation and increase in epidermal mucin in facial biopsies obtained after up to 4 years of treatment may be partly responsible for the continued clinical improvement. Furthermore, the study shows that there are no untoward effects on keratinocytes or melanocytes during long-term use of topical tretinoin.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Double-Blind Method
  • Epidermis / drug effects
  • Epidermis / pathology
  • Face
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Skin Aging / pathology*
  • Skin Aging / radiation effects
  • Tretinoin / therapeutic use*


  • Tretinoin